Banbury firms seek relief road option to stop town gridlock

Richard Hunter, president of Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce. NNL-150625-135031001
Richard Hunter, president of Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce. NNL-150625-135031001

Banbury businesses are calling for a relief road south of the M40 at junction 11 to stop the town becoming gridlocked.

In response to a survey by the Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce, 85 per cent of businesses said they believed a new relief road was the answer to congestion caused by cross-town traffic and accidents on the M40.

A further 68 per cent said staff found it difficult to get to and from work. They also pointed out that new housing and the development of retail parks would lead to further congestion if a relief road was not built.

Richard Hunter, president of the Banbury Chamber of Commerce, said: “The vast majority of our members were concerned that the town is often gridlocked. Traffic comes to a standstill not only at peak commuting times but also when there is an accident on the motorway. Obviously, this is bad for business.

“Not only does it cause a problem for staff getting to and from work, the congestion may also result in businesses losing customers.”

The Chamber of Commerce members also called for better public transport and more cycle lanes.

In a pre-General Election survey 86 per cent of respondents to a chamber survey on future business trends were of the opinion that the prospects for business in Banbury were good, with 54 per cent saying that this could lead to new jobs.

Mr Hunter said: “All the signs for Banbury are positive - apart from the traffic situation, which we feel can only get worse unless we get a proper road structure for the town.

“The congestion is caused in the main because of cross-town traffic and this would be eased by building a relief road or a ring road.

“A growing number of our members are concerned and calling for the county council and district council to get their acts together to alleviate the situation.”